Caramel Bars (Max’s Inspired)

I always bring these caramel bars as a dessert to potluck parties and they have always been a hit! Just the rights sweetness, soft, and nutty – best paired with coffee or tea!

Max's Caramel Bars |
Max's Caramel Bars |

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Max's Caramel Bars |
Caramel Bars |

Let your cravings lead the way. This phrase holds true for this recipe. I’ve been craving for Max’s caramel bars, and as the nearest Max’s restaurant is a 30-minute drive from where I live, I thought I should be able to replicate these bars from my own kitchen. My version is equally good, easy, and cheaper to make!

These caremel bars are made from simple ingredients – flour, butter, eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, and cashew nuts. I prefer to use light brown sugar over dark primarily because of the nice, golden brown color it gives, but if you don’t have one then dark brown sugar is okay.

Max's Caramel Bars |

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Here’s What You’ll Need



  • 156 grams (1 1/4 cup) bleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 227 grams (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 250 grams (1 3/4 cup) light brown sugar
  • 3 pieces large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts, chopped

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How to Make Caramel Bars Step-by-Step

Max's Caramel Bars |
Mis en place. Have all the ingredients measured. Prepare the saucepan, mixing bowls, whisk, and a spatula.
Max's Caramel Bars |
Preheat oven to 350F/ 180C. Line the bottom of an 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and grease and flour the sides.
Max's Caramel Bars |
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Max's Caramel Bars |
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla extract.

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Max's Caramel Bars |
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add the brown sugar and mix until combined.
Max's Caramel Bars |

Temper the eggs by adding about ⅓ of the butter mixture into the egg mixture while whisking constantly (to avoid cooking the eggs).

When they are mixed, return the eggs back in the saucepan (that is still over low heat) with the remaining butter mixture. Mix thoroughly with a whisk. Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined. Be careful not to overmix or the bars will be tough. Turn off the heat.

Max's Caramel Bars |
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Max's Caramel Bars |
Evenly distribute the batter into the pan by gently spreading the batter to the sides using a spatula.

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Max's Caramel Bars |
Sprinkle top with chopped cashew nuts. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick/ cake tester inserted into the centre of the bar comes out clean.
Max's Caramel Bars |
Cool completely before cutting them.
Max's Caramel Bars |

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Caramel Bars |
Caramel Bars |
Caramel Bars |

33 thoughts on “Caramel Bars (Max’s Inspired)”

  1. Sarah

    I don’t recommended this recipe and lack of ingredients. it came out the cakey! it’s supposed to be moist, chewy. Don’t recommended!

  2. Josephine

    Thanks for sharing! Outcome was good but my final product didn’t come close to Max’s.

    1. trish

      Thank you for sharing your feedback! =)

  3. Kate

    i tried it tho i didn’t temper the eggs bcos i just found the notes when i’m done baking it, mine came out like a cake 🙁

  4. Janine

    Hi, is this supposed to be cakey or kind of fudgy/chewy? I tried it but mine was cakey

    1. trish

      Hi! It is on the cakey side.

  5. Anna Polis

    I suggest having the eggs at a room temperature because it helps preventing the eggs from scrambling. Also turning off the heat to the sugar and butter mixture before adding the eggs to the mixture. I don’t want to sound rude but I do think you could have been more specific in your instructions, especially for the non-bakers.

    1. Gigi

      She didn’t say in the recipe to add the eggs to the butter/sugar mixture it’s the other way around and was very specific on how to do it so the eggs don’t get scrambled.

  6. Sarrah

    Hi this recipe is so good! Do you have a video of it?

    1. trish

      Than you, Sarrah! Hopefully I’ll be able to do videos soon!

  7. Risse

    Hi! Can I bake this using 2 6 inch or 8 inch round pans? Can I also fold in toasted cashews in the batter? Thank you!

    1. trish

      Yes, you can add toasted cashews into the batter if you like.

      I have not tried baking this in a 6 or 8-inch pan but I think it would work. Try filling the pan up to half-full only as they rise quite a bit. You may also need to adjust the baking time – it’s done when a toothpick/ cake tester inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean. Good luck!=)

  8. Bea

    Hello Trish,

    Will there be a huge difference if I use a margarine instead of butter?



    1. trish

      Sorry, I haven’t tried using margarine for this recipe. I would love to know in case you will try!

  9. Chelyne

    5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe. I just tried this and it was a hit. ? But I wanted it to be more moist, what ingredient will i need to increase?

    1. trish

      Thanks for sharing your feedback! =) Sugar adds moisture but I’m afraid it might be too sweet if you add more. Also, two of the common reasons baked goods are on the drier side are they’re either overbaked or there’s too much flour. If you measured your flour by cups, try measuring by weight next time.

  10. Lois

    Hi. Can i just use the ordinary all purpose flour instead of bleached flour?

    1. trish

      Thanks, Michelle. 🙂 So glad to know that!

  11. Aivee

    Hi! My batter ended up really oily. The butter and the sugar didn’t mix well. I did use low heat while mixing continuously. What did I do wrong? I have yet to bake the product and I’m alreadt worried about the outcome.

    1. trish

      Hi, Aivee. I’m sorry your batter didn’t end up well. There could be many reasons: the butter, sugar, or flour may not have been measured correctly; or the sugar and melted butter needed more mixing. By the time you add the flour, the batter should be on the thicker side (as shown in the step by step photos) but not oily.

    1. trish

      Milk is not needed in the recipe. When I added the “Here’s What You’ll Need” section, I must have mistakenly copied it there. I have updated it – Thanks for pointing that out!

      The recipe card and step by step instructions are showing the correct list and amount of ingredients.

  12. Kay

    Hi! Is milk needed in the recipe?

    1. trish

      Milk is not needed – sorry for the confusion! The printable recipe is correct. I have updated the ‘Here’s What You Need’ section to be the same with the printable recipe.

  13. Tiff

    Hi! I used bleached flour but it still came out dark brown on top and brown inside like your unbleached photo. Any suggestions to what else I might’ve done wrong?? Could it be from the brown sugar??

    1. trish

      Hi, Tiff! Yes, the color of the brown sugar definitely affects the color of your finished product. I tried this using light brown, brilliant yellow, and dark brown sugar and they all taste the same to me; they just slightly differ in color. I find that the light brown sugar yields the nicest golden brown color. Hope this helps. 🙂

  14. Monique

    5 stars
    Hi! When I return the eggs in the saucepan is it still on medium heat?

    1. trish

      Hi, Monique! When you return the egg mixture back into the saucepan it should still be in low heat. Turn off the heat on step 5, after adding the flour. Hope this helps!

  15. Marc Balcos

    Better than Max’s! 😀 Good Job Trish!

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